Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Flimsy Façade of Campaign Finance Laws in New York

Followers of New York politics may not be surprised to hear that the state's campaign finance laws are porous and under-enforced. They may be surprised, however, to learn just how serious both of these problems are. A new report from the Brennan Center documents the sorry state of campaign finance regulation in New York, and suggests how to fix it.

From the press release:
Today the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law released Paper Thin: The Flimsy Facade of Campaign Finance Laws in New York. The report documents flaws in New York's campaign finance law and enforcement regime that render New York's already high contribution limits functionally meaningless.

"Some states admit they don't have reasonable campaign finance reform laws. New York pretends to address the influence of money in politics, but in reality its regulatory system is among the worst in the nation," stated Michael Waldman, Executive Director of the Brennan Center.

The report finds that New York's contribution limits, which climb as high as $84,400, are the highest in the country for many categories of contributions. In fact, in some categories, New York's contribution limits would still rank among the nation's highest even if they were cut in half. The consequences of such laws can be seen in practice. According to Common Cause/NY, fifty-five percent of New York State campaign funds received by candidates during the 2002, 2004 and 2006 election cycles have come via checks written for more than $2,100.

"To make matters worse, loopholes in New York's campaign finance laws render even our extraordinarily high contribution limits meaningless," stated Suzanne Novak, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center and the lead author of the report.

. . . .
As they like to say in the blogosphere, read the whole thing!

Categories: General, Campaign Finance

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

The link doesn't work.